Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to
To submit comments through the Federal e-rulemaking portal:
Comments received through means not specified in this proposed rule will not be considered.
Copies of the regulatory amendment, which includes an environmental assessment (EA), an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA), and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone 813-348-1630; fax 813-348-1711; e-mail
The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
On January 24, 2011 (76 FR 4084), NMFS published a proposed rule to establish a 2-month seasonal closure of the recreational sector for greater amberjack within the Gulf reef fish fishery. Harvest and possession of recreational greater amberjack would be prohibited in or from the Gulf EEZ during the months of June and July each year. The establishment of a recreational seasonal closure is intended to mitigate the social and economic impacts associated with implementing in-season closures.
Based on many of the comments received on the proposed rule, it appears to NMFS that the intent of the proposed action was not completely understood by the public. A number of commenters seem to have the understanding that the intent of the recreational seasonal closure is to reduce recreational harvest. In actuality, the proposed recreational seasonal closure occurs during a peak time for greater amberjack fishing, and is therefore projected to allow the recreational sector to be open during the remainder of the fishing year, without the necessity for additional in-season quota closures or implementation of accountability measures. Many for-hire operators indicated to the Council that the summer recreational seasonal closure was a preferred closure alternative since it would allow the for-hire industry to market greater amberjack as a trophy fish during the months their preferred target species of red snapper was unavailable.
NMFS specifically invites public comment on the clarification of the intent of the greater amberjack recreational seasonal closure. Additionally, the reef fish for-hire industry has requested a reopening of the comment period to allow industry additional time to submit comments. Therefore, NMFS will reopen the public comment period on the proposed rule on March 10, 2011 and it will remain open through March 25, 2011.
16 U.S.C. 1801